There are very few people who can be convinced they are wrong because someone approached the point in question with a confrontational and adversarial tone; those people are the intellectually honest, the principled, the self-aware. They are not the rarest people of all, perhaps, but they are certainly not the most common. These people see the message and not the messenger, they can see the beautiful truth behind an ugly tone.

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Romans 14:1

Reflect on what works for you. Imagine the person you are closest to, your spouse or sibling or best friend, approaching a very important topic by scolding you, nagging and attacking your way of thinking. Even for a person to whom you have given rights to speak however they choose, that approach would be almost intolerable. Now put a stranger in that same place and you would ignore them and call your closest person to complain.

Our role as ambassadors for the gospel is first to introduce that very good news that Jesus saves sinners like us. After the believer joins the church, the gentle guidance of the community and prayers to forgive sins will cover a lot of problems. We are not politicians who have to attack the “other side” in order to advance the Heavenly agenda on earth; we are diplomats, offering refugees of this world a secure citizenship in heaven.

Those lost ones don’t need a debate or a talking-to or a warning, they need hope.

Ethan Kirl